Tag Archives: solutions

Counseling Awareness Month

Counseling Awareness Month

It’s Counseling Awareness Month, and you may not realize all the different areas of your life where counseling might be able to help you.

What you probably think of when you think of counseling is mental health therapy, which can help you handle anxiety, stress, depression, and relationship issues.

Mental Health Counseling


Career counseling can help you with your job search, whether you’re a college student, job searching, or just a professional looking to set new goals and develop your skills.

Career Counseling and Planning


Child and adolescent counselors help kids work through life changes and stresses from school, family, or peer relationships, like divorce or bullying.

Counseling for Children


Grief counselors can help you deal with loss, like deaths, terminal illness, divorces, or other bereavements. They can help you work through these emotions in a safe and healing space.

School counselors help students in their personal and academic development. They can help them pursue academic goals like college or give students support with any issues they’re experiencing.

School Counseling for Students


Rehab counseling helps people with disabilities work through their issues and implement solutions, which could mean helping with job development or developing goals based on their situation and abilities.

Rehab Counseling & Disabilities


Substance abuse counselors help people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction set recovery plans and goals and work through the stages of recovery.

Substance Abuse Counseling and Recovery


If you’re a Health Alliance member, you can search for therapists and counselors covered by your plan.

A Happy Ending from Your Decisions

Vantage Point: Life Is Not Like The Brady Bunch

Growing up watching The Brady Bunch, I loved how when there was a problem, like Jan getting a bad perm, Greg having his first fender bender, or Marcia getting braces, it was always resolved in a happy ending by the end of the episode.

I didn’t think to question how Mr. and Mrs. Brady could afford to raise 6 kids and pay for a maid and the mortgage on a tri-level house. I know now, from raising my own kids, that braces are really expensive, and so is adding teenagers to your car insurance. Real-life decisions don’t always end as positively as a Brandy Bunch episode.

In my work, I counsel people who made a choice that costs them later. For example, if you don’t pick up prescription drug coverage when you first become Medicare eligible and then realize you need to add it later, you’ll get charged a late enrollment penalty. Many times in these cases, members have sadly told me that they didn’t know or that no one had told them. They’ve truly taught me the importance of staying informed.

Recently, I had the chance to meet with Callie Klein from COUNTRY Financial, and we found that we share a mutual desire to learn about each other’s professional services.

We know Medicare can be confusing, so we do our best to help people make sense of their options. Retirement planning can also be confusing, but Callie helped me to understand how choices like life insurance and long-term care can affect your financial future. Callie pointed out that people are living longer, and some people can spend just as many years in retirement as they did on their career. That’s what makes it so important to plan ahead, so your resources match your longevity.

As we enter a new year, I am reminded how fast time goes and how important it is to give some thought to your future now. Set some long-term goals rather than just short-term resolutions.

If you haven’t already and need help, I encourage you to seek out a professional like Callie. She showed a genuine concern for her clients and a desire to guide them toward the decisions that will help them attain their future retirement goals. Professionals like her can help you at least become educated and stay informed.

Most importantly, though, I wish you happiness in 2016, and I hope that, like an episode of The Brady Bunch, your biggest problems are resolved quickly and with a happy ending.


Shannon Sims is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties in Washington. She has four sons and two grandsons. During her time off, she performs as part of a rodeo drill team on her horse, Skeeter.